Wine Yakima Valley

Wine Yakima Valley is inviting
wine enthusiasts to its annual
Catch the Crush event
October 13, 14.
Each winery offers its own
celebratory events, including grape stomps,
harvest and crush activities, tours,
free-run juice, hors d’oeuvres, live
music, and of course wine

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February = aphrodisiacs & romance

February = aphrodisiacs & romance

52 Weeks of Wine , Events 🕔January 22, 2018 0 comments

February is Valentine’s month, bringing with it wine, chocolate, and romantic events throughout the Valley. Whether you have a sweetheart or not, you can take part in any of February’s wine country events and learn techniques to successfully pair red wine and chocolate.

Consider Secret Crush, the Valley’s newest wine event and the official kick-off party to the Red Wine & Chocolate weekend. This February 16, event showcases the region’s highest-rated wines paired with the culinary talents of winemaker and Executive Chef Greg Masset.

Once you’ve experienced the wines at Secret Crush, you are well-equipped to build your weekend itinerary. Choose to visit the winemakers you met at Friday evening’s tasting and explore additional pours, select a wine varietal you really enjoyed and find wineries showcasing that wine, or set out to taste the wine and chocolate pairings that most interest you.

Another way to create your tour is to visit wineries off the beaten path visit Knight Hill Winery, where you can enjoy their lovely garnet-colored Grenache paired with a blend of dried tart cherries, pepper pistachios, and dark chocolate.  Barrel Springs, located on the backroads of north Prosser, is featuring chocolate raspberry ganache brownies while Purple Star, a newer Benton City winery is serving chocolate torte.

Regardless of how you choose your route, the best way to experience the event weekend is with a Premier Pass. Pass holders receive access to exclusive pairings, library tastings, and waived tasting fees. If you want a package deal, purchase both Secret Crush and Red Wine & Chocolate tickets together for $95, a $20 savings. Tickets and details of both events are available online at wineyakimavalley.org.

Wine and chocolate share several similarities, for one, they’re both considered aphrodisiacs and they both contain flavanols (antioxidants). Despite these similarities, pairing the two takes thought, know-how and an opportunity to experiment on how the flavors work together. When properly paired, red wine and chocolate combinations create a delightful indulgence. To maximize your Red Wine & Chocolate experience, follow these suggestions.

  • Let it melt— Allow the chocolate to melt on your tongue just prior to sipping wine.
  • Tannins don’t mix— Avoid wines and chocolates that are overly tannic in nature, (dry red wine and dark chocolate for example). The flavanols, a type of tannin in the wine and chocolate compete with each other and result in a muddled and flat combination.
  • Pair wine with flavors in your chocolate—Take into account chocolate with other flavors in it  when selecting wine.
    Dark chocolate with sea salt and caramel pairs with red wines that have berry, chocolate or spice, such as a Cab Sauv, Malbec blend.
  • Bold similarities—Bold full-bodied wines pair well with chocolates that are hearty in texture with a similarly pronounced flavor. For example; a rich, creamy piece of chocolate will pair with a heavier, fortified wine.
  • Two of a kind—Wines or chocolate with similar distinct notes, such as black pepper, can be mutually enhanced when paired together.
  • Berries and nuts— The easiest method for a successful pairing is to select chocolates that contain berries, dried fruit, or nuts.

Make this year’s Red Wine & Chocolate weekend an exploration of both chocolate, wine, and their pairings.

The activities don’t end with Red Wine & Chocolate. For more February wine-related events throughout the month including winemaker dinners, live music and wine, and even yoga, visit the events section at wineyakimavaley.org to learn more.

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